Analysis: U.S. Companies Plan to Spend, a Boost for the Economy.
U.S. companies' capital spending plans are holding up, and mostly exceeding Wall Street forecasts, in the face of policy concerns created by arguments in Washington over the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling and now automatic spending cuts.
Their willingness to spend on new offices, plants and machinery, as well as a pickup in deal making, shows that they are starting to dig into the massive amounts of cash that has been collecting more dust than interest on their balance sheets. That could prove a welcome counterpunch to a softer outlook for spending by consumers and government.
A Thomson Reuters analysis shows that for 2013, more Standard & Poor's 500 firms are forecasting capital expenditures that exceeded analysts' expectations than at any time in the past four years. Recent U.S. government data showed a rise in equipment and software spending in the final quarter of 2012.
If companies ratchet up spending, that could help unleash more hiring and extend the early-year rally in stocks, which tend to rise along with business spending.